Hoo boy, another Creative mp3 player?? Yeah this one popped on online with one bid and photos that clearly showed it running off the battery long enough to at least get to the specs screen, which meant that at least the buttons and the battery worked well enough to place a bid. One other person bid within like the last 5 seconds but they clearly didn't want it very much 'cause i won it for $25 including shipping. No remote or anything but it had the armband thing and a driver cd.

Right off the bat I should say this thing is very well made, especially for Creative, and looking at the rest of their oddly large lineup from this era it seems to be the one with the most care put into both build quality and aesthetics.

Here's a closeup of the back, which is a smooth layer of clear plastic above a physical ripple in the plastic beneath it, which combined with printing on the top, gives it a very cool effect, this would've been a killer combo with the OLED screen tech that sony used in my walkman, though for use 20 years later it's probably best that they didn't

Even the creative logo was etched in, I knew this part looked cool beforehand but nothing on the internet really put much focus onto it

Ok enough about build quality, 'cause the power switch wasn't working. The unit was still powering on when the battery was put in and everything else was working, but I couldn't power it off. Thankfully it was much easier to take apart than the zen stone, and was only held in with a few screws and basically snaps right apart (Don't lose the clips (I lost the clips.))

I'm not sure what they did to accidentally rip one of the swtich contacts off the motherboard, but the tamper seal was broken so this very well could've been why it ended up for sale

Easy enough, don't even have to add any more solder

Ignore the lil burnt plastic bit my iron tip is like 5x the size of that

With that gone it's now perfectly working, but oh yeah I figured out that it's not compatible with headphones with a mic input, as in due to the way the aux cable contacts are arranged it simply won't supply them with the audio correctly. I'm not sure how this is a problem that could exist but whatever.

The touch interface is kinda neat, all of the icons are recessed the same amount as the screen which gives it a nice sense of continuity, and the middle portion is a scroll bar that's basically a rip off of the ipod but in a line instead of a circle, which nevertheless still feels good

Much like the ipod this is one of the systems I probably wouldn't carry with me daily, as most all the controls are touch activated and it has an actually spinning hard drive in it, though unlike the sony equivalent I think it can be replaced with a cf card without issue

And one thing I somehow haven't touched on yet is the lighting, tapping anywhere fades in a perimiter light along with all the buttons, which is actually well done though the blue can look a bit tacky. Kinda reminds me of modern alienware laptops

Wanna know how it sounds? Well from what I can tell, which is from a few hundred 64kbps .wma files from the last owner, good enough I guess? Even though it came with a driver cd, I still cannot seem to get this thing to interface with my file browser. Device manager recognizes it, but only enough to tell me the drivers aren't working. Like c'mon Creative you make a player with drag-n-drop which already puts you a leg up above sony but then make it so you can't just plug it into whatever computer you have access to? really??


Managed to get the driver cd to work well enough on my winxp computer. It installs a bunch of bloat but after it's installed you can just dop the files right onto it with the file browser, or Creative's own tranfer software if you so desire

Since it doesn't work with the full size headphones I've been dailying, I've been trying it out a few days with my clip ons, which tbh, is a pretty decent pair. If I didn't always carry a phone in my pocket I might consider carrying this instead

It has had some trouble booting up a l'il bit, but there's barely any lag with the HDD, so props to whoever made that, and after shoving a bunch of 124kb/s mp3s in there, I gotta say it sounds pretty good. Despite issues like the solder joints and a few software quirks, you can tell they put a lot of care into making this thing

One thing it has above like any other players I got is the ability to record from the fm radio. It's honestly pretty high quality, and I see this as a sort of evolution of recording radio to cassette

College radio recorded on campus

Recording from home

If my sony 'phones worked with it and getting songs onto it wasn't a nightmare I'd seriously consider using this. I might be able to get it to work with a VM but for that amount of effort I'll just stick with sonicstage. Will probably still carry it from time to time though

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